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There Might Be Evolved Dinosaurs on Other Planets

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The study by American chemist Ronald Breslow, at Columbia University, is actually about the conditions that made life possible on earth. But its conclusions are stunning: ‘An implication from this work is that elsewhere in the universe there could be life forms based on D-amino acids and L-sugars,’ writes Breslow. ‘Such life forms could well be advanced versions of dinosaurs, if mammals did not have the good fortune to have the dinosaurs wiped out by an asteroidal collision, as on Earth. We would be better off not meeting them.’

Breslow maintains that the origin of terrestrial prebiotic homochirality, a condition for life to start anywhere, is on meteorites that fell to earth about 4 million years ago. These meteorites brought amino acids that eventually would have led to the D-sugars that can be found in DNA.

This finding is what makes Breslow think that there might be intelligent life on other planets, an advanced version of our dinosaurs. The study, published online in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, is still pending technical editing, formatting for publication and author proofing.

Source: TG Daily, io9, American Chemical Society

Photo: WorldIslandInfo.com/flickr

Breslow R (2012). Evidence for the Likely Origin of Homochirality in Amino Acids, Sugars, and Nucleosides on Prebiotic Earth. Journal of the American Chemical Society PMID: 22444622

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  • http://rutgers.edu Tom Villani

    If you had actually read the article, you’ll find that the author makes no serious claims about intelligent dinosaurs, in fact he deliberately jokes that he wouldn’t want to run into them. His article was exclusively about chirality of amino acids and sugars, and to misrepresent his hypothesis as somehow being about dinosaurs is just a mockery of scientific journalism. This highlights the problem in copycat clogging, done by “journalists” who are not aiming to explain science but get website hits. Read the article if you want to call yourself united academics, otherwise its just a said misuse of the words.

    • Jaime Menchén

      Hi Tom, I understand your point, and certainly the paper is not about dinosaurs, as I also note in my article. Anyway, the author makes some claims about ‘advanced dinosaurs’, as the quote I include in my article is taken directly from the paper (more especifically, from the conclusion, which you can read here). You can take this claims as deliberate jokes, but this is not so clear to me. In fact, if you read the press release of the American Chemical Society (the link here) you’ll see that they emphasize the same aspect of the article as I do. Needless to say, my article is not a review of Mr Breslow’s paper, but a comment on one particular issue. And I personally think that this reference to the dinosaurs is out of place in the paper and might be a way to draw attention – in which he has succeeded.